San Francisco Chronicle

Top scorer Kane wins MVP, takes home 2 other trophies


LAS VEGAS — After Patrick Kane added three more awards to his overflowin­g trophy case, he took a moment to appreciate his new place in American hockey history.

The Chicago Blackhawks’ NHL scoring champion won the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night, becoming the first player born and trained in the U.S. to be named the league’s most valuable player.

Kane also claimed the Ted Lindsay Award after his fellow players recognized him as the game’s most outstandin­g player at the league’s annual postseason awards show. He even accepted the Art Ross Trophy in recognitio­n of leading the league with his 106-point season — another first for an American player.

“I definitely feel very fortunate,” Kane said. “It’s amazing to me that there’s no American that’s ever won the scoring title or the MVP award, because there have been so many great American players.”

Kane was the runaway winner of the Hart, getting 121 of the 150 first-place votes. Sidney Crosby finished second with 11 first-place votes, and Dallas’ Jamie Benn was third. The Sharks’ Joe Thornton came in fifth.

“It’s been quite a ride, obviously,” Kane said. “A lot of great moments along the way. I feel like at 27 right now, hopefully there’s some more in the cards.”

Every major trophy went to a first-time winner at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Braden Holtby of Washington finished fourth in the Hart voting. He won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie.

His head coach, Barry Trotz, won the Jack Adams Award for the first time in 17 seasons behind an NHL bench, recognizin­g the Capitals’ Presidents’ Trophy season.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar took home the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward and the Lady Byng Trophy for his gentlemanl­y play. His teammate, Drew Doughty, won his first Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman. The Sharks’ Brent Burns finished third.

Kane’s linemate in Chicago, Artemi Panarin, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie after scoring 77 points in 80 games.

Jaromir Jagr, the Florida Panthers’ 44-year-old leading scorer, was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseveran­ce, sportsmans­hip and dedication to hockey.

Vegas comes aboard:

The NHL will expand to Las Vegas for the 2017-18 season after awarding its 31st franchise to billionair­e businessma­n Bill Foley on Wednesday. Commission­er Gary Bettman announced the decision after the league’s board of governors met on a 109-degree day and unanimousl­y voted to put an ice-hockey team in the Mojave Desert’s gambling mecca.

“We think this is a tremendous­ly exciting opportunit­y, not just for Las Vegas, but for the league as well,” Bettman said, calling Las Vegas “a vibrant, growing, global destinatio­n city.”

Foley will pay $500 million to the NHL’s other owners as an expansion fee. The team will play in T-Mobile Arena, the $375 million building that opened just off the Las Vegas Strip in April.

The NHL is expanding for the first time since 2000, when Minnesota and Columbus each paid $80 million to join the league.

With nearly 2.2 million people in the last census, Las Vegas is the largest population center in the U.S. without a team in the major profession­al sports.

The NHL is also confident in the ownership group led by Foley, a financial-services tycoon who mounted a strong bid for ownership, along with minority partners Joe and Gavin Maloof, former owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Foley’s bid had the enormous advantage of an NHL-ready arena built with private funding and eager for a flagship tenant. Foley already has accepted more than 14,000 season-ticket deposits and sold out all 44 suites in the 17,500-seat rink built by MGM Resorts Internatio­nal and Anschutz Entertainm­ent Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings.

“We won’t sell out every game with season-ticket holders, but I believe it’s going to be 85 percent, 90 percent” filled by seasontick­et holders, Foley said.

The franchise will play in the Pacific Division, the home of the league’s three California teams and the Arizona Coyotes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States